Finding Meaning in Our Suffering: A Quest for Knowledge by Julian of Norwich and Primo Levi

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Authors
Everest, Cerena
Advisor
Greiner, Katherine
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Date of Issue
2023-04-28
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Title
Finding Meaning in Our Suffering: A Quest for Knowledge by Julian of Norwich and Primo Levi
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Presentation
Description
Abstract
Why do human beings suffer? Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love and Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz shed light on how suffering shapes an individual’s humanity without completely defining it. Revelations of Divine Love explores Julian’s afflictions and the revelations she receives from God, as well as how she learns to embrace suffering as a way to hold on to her humanity and to the steadfast love of Christ. In Survival in Auschwitz, Primo Levi details the gruesome journey he underwent as a prisoner in Auschwitz. Levi’s quest for survival amidst the harsh and dehumanizing conditions of the camp led him to witness the capabilities of human nature when stripped down to its bare, primordial state- profound acts of kindness alongside horrific acts of greed and selfishness. Ultimately, Levi endures suffering and holds onto his humanity because he presses in to the shared experiences and mutual understanding of what his fellow prison mates are going through. Both authors show that although suffering is an inevitable part of the human condition, it is not something that we have to walk through alone. They each come to befriend suffering as Julian of Norwich experiences a truer sense of love found in Christ and Primo Levi experiences a deeper love for human beings.
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Degree Awarded
Semester
Spring
Department
Honors Scholars Program